Towards an Integrated Understanding of Speaking Rate in Conversation

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2. Factors that affect speaking rate. Demographic factors: Older speakers have a slower speaking rate (Amerman

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Towards an Integrated Understanding of Speaking Rate in Conversation

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1. Towards an Integrated Understanding of Speaking Rate in Conversation Jiahong Yuan, Mark Liberman, Christopher Cieri University of Pennsylvania Sept. 18, 2006

2. 2 Factors that affect speaking rate Demographic factors: Older speakers have a slower speaking rate (Amerman & Parnell 1992; Verhoeven et al. 2004); Sex, dialect region (Binnenpoorte et al., 2005; Quene, 2005); Nonnative speakers have a slower speaking rate (Riggenbach 1991); Utterance length and word position: Inverse relation between segment duration and utterance length (Nakatani et al. 1981); Phrase final lengthening (Oller 1973), boundary adjacent lengthening (Byrd and Saltzman 1998; White 2002); Situational factors: Conversation topic; Speaker relationship; We lack a comprehensive understanding of these factors and their functions.

3. 3 Study of speaking rate using large speech corpora Large number and variable definition of potentially relevant factors Many different ways to define and analyze rate Speaking rates in Switchboard: 193 WPM: total words divided by total conversation time; 236 WPM: total words divided by speech time excluding silent pauses; 164 WPM: total words for each speaker divided by the time allotted to that speaker's "turns”. There's no "standard" way to do all this, …, based on the goals of your study and the data you're working with, try to keep the practices consistent across the variables of interest to you.

4. 4 Corpora used in the study

5. 5 Effect of segment length

6. 6 Effect of word position in a segment

7. 7 Effect of word position: by POS

8. 8 Effect of speaker relationship

9. 9 Effect of conversation topics

10. 10 Effect of age

11. 11 Effect of sex

12. 12 Effect of native languages

13. 13 Conclusion Speaking rate is highly dependent on segment length and word position in a segment; The other factors that significantly affect speaking rate include conversation topics, relationship between the speakers, the native language of the speaker, and age; Compared to the other factors, speaker sex has a smaller effect on speaking rate, although males tend to speak a little faster than females. We regard this work as a first step towards a comprehensive analysis. Because our research is based on published corpora, we look forward to future investigations that will supplement or revise our results. Discussion implicationDiscussion implication

14. 14 Thank You!

15. 15

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